Environmental Information Exchange

Reusing textiles for local charities

hayImage used under Creative Commons from net_efekt

Problem

A local charity shop collected large quantities of used clothing. The majority is sold through the shop, however, significant amounts of clothes are not saleable (either because they are of insufficient quality, or simply were not of interest to local shoppers). The shop was forced to dispose of waste to landfill incurring high costs for waste disposal. Staff at the shop also felt that although items were not useable locally, the items were still useful.

Solution

EiE helped the shop assess the true volumes of clothing and textiles being disposed of to landfill and the additional cost that disposal added to the charity's ongoing costs. EiE helped the shop identify a waste contractor that is willing to pay for unusable clothes for resale overseas, or for recycling into other textile items. The process helped transform a cost into an additional source of revenue for the charity.